Unfortunately, a lot of us feel socially isolated. Much of this is due to our technologically-driven time. We prefer to text and connect with people that way instead of face-to-face communication.
However, social bonds are crucial to our health and social contact, especially if pleasant, has all kinds of benefits.
Let's imagine what happens in our brains when we are about to get together with people we like. Well for one thing, before we even meet the person, we will probably look forward to the event and will be excited about it. We may recall previous happy times that we shared in the past. Then when we first see the person, our brain centers will be activated and we will feel good and reap all kinds of benefits.
So, we need others to feel healthy and happy. Here are a few ways to avoid social isolation so that we can reap some of these benefits.
1. Volunteer at a retirement home or hospital. Or, you can volunteer at a library. The idea is that you want to help as many people as people and to be in the midst of people.
2. Seek fleeting contact such as talking to people in the grocery store line up or the grocery clerk. They are more used to people complaining. So, you may actually make their day.
3. Adopt a pet. 80 percent of people who have a pet consider them to be family. Therefore, if you live alone, you may consider adopting a pet for your forever home. Not only will you save one furry bundle of joy from being euthanized but you will also be gaining a connection-a little being who will give you unconditional love.
4. Take classes. Many times, we can connect with people with similar interests and loves. But you will also feel less isolated if you go out and do something that you really enjoy.
5. Get out of the house every day. Even if you go into your backyard or neighborhood where you live and take a walk this will give you a sense of community and you will feel less alone.
6. Join a reading club at your local library. This can help you get out among people and share your idea of the book you are reading. And who knows you may even make a friend that you can connect with outside of the book club.
By taking these steps, you will be avoiding social isolation and possibly the depression that will result from it. There is no better feeling than being able to connect with others. The more we can feel a part of something or someone's life, the more health benefits we will receive.
by Irene Roth